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A History of England Principally in the Seventeent

On which the Elector of Brandenburg also set his hopes


The English ambassadors took exception to single expressions: the King himself passed lightly over them. He was mainly induced to do so by the absence from the agreement with France of the most offensive and burdensome clauses which had been contained in the secret articles of the treaty with Spain. On December 12, 1624, the treaty was signed at Cambridge by the King, and the special assurance both by the King and by the Prince.

James I wished to see his son married. At the Christmas immediately following he greeted him according to English fashion with the tenderest expressions: he said that he existed only for his sake; that he had rather live with him in banishment than lead a desolate life without him. He thought that the treaty of marriage which had just been concluded would establish his happiness for ever.

[Sidenote: A.D. 1625.]

An alliance between France and England for the recovery of the Palatinate was now moreover in contemplation. From the first moment the French had acknowledged that this would be to their own interest, and had promised to assist in that object to the extent of their power. Nevertheless they hesitated to conclude an express agreement for this object; for what would the Pope say if they allied themselves with Protestants against Catholics? At last they submitted a declaration in writing, but this appeared to the English ambassadors so unsatisfactory, that they preferred to return it to them. The French said that this time they would perform more than they promised. Although exceptions of many kinds might be made to their performances, yet they were really seriously bent on doing as much as possible for the recovery of the Palatinate. Just at that time Richelieu had stepped into power, and he expressly directed the policy of France to the destruction of the position which the Spaniards had occupied on the Middle Rhine. In spite of the obstructive efforts of a party which had both ecclesiastical and political objects in view, he concluded the arrangements for the marriage of the Princess to the Prince of Wales without any delay, even without waiting for the last word of the Pope.

By this means the connexion which the King had formed in earlier years seemed once more to be revived. The Duke of Savoy and the Republic of Venice supported Mansfeld's preparations with subsidies of money. The States General took the most lively interest in the warlike movements in Germany, on which the Elector of Brandenburg also set his hopes. The King of Denmark offered his help in the matter with a readiness which created astonishment. While the English ambassadors were busy in adjusting the disputes that were constantly springing up afresh between him and Sweden, he gathered the estates of Lower Saxony around him, in order to check the swift advance of the Catholic League.[444] Of the members of the old alliance the princes of Upper Germany alone were absent. It was hoped that the Union would be revived by the efforts of Lower Germany, and above all that its head, the Elector Palatine, would be restored to his country.

Induced by the failure of peaceful negotiations for the restoration of his son-in-law, James allowed greater progress to be made in the direction of war than he had ever done before. He took an eager interest in the preliminaries and preparations for war, even for a naval war. But would he ever have proceeded to action? While preparing to attack the Emperor and the League did he intend to do anything more than make a demonstration against Spain? In truth it may be doubted. He never allowed his English troops to attempt anything for the relief of Breda, which at that time was still blockaded by the Spaniards.[445]


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